Quantifying the Air Pollution Mortality Impacts of Renewable Energy Farms Across 150 U.S. Cities

14 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2022

See all articles by Samir Chowdhury

Samir Chowdhury

Youth Climate Action Team Inc.

Vihaan Mathur

Youth Climate Action Team Inc.

Date Written: August 10, 2022


Through trend and meta-analysis, this study estimates the public health benefits of renewable energy implementation in the United States by quantifying the mortality impacts of different sizes and types of renewable energy farms. The authors investigated the mortality benefits spurred by the reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 air pollution that occurs with the implementation of 100 MW and 500 MW wind energy, solar energy, and nuclear energy farms in 150 populous cities across the U.S. The authors utilized socio-environmental statistical relationships postulated from the Harvard Six Cities Study to calculate 900 mortality benefit data points. The study revealed that each type of renewable energy project, across sizes and energy types, reduces mortalities induced by air pollution, or “saves lives”, with the three energy types reducing an average of 3.75 deaths annually across all cities. When considering the U.S. 2021 estimated value of a statistical life of $7,500,000 per life, these benefits equate to $28,125,000. These findings affirm the tangible public health value of renewable energy and the life-saving value proposition that comes with it. This study found that wind energy reduces the most mortalities, however, a One-Way ANOVA test indicates there is no statistically significant difference between the deaths reduced by the three types of energy. There is a correlation between mortalities reduced and social factors such as poverty and race, and the authors recommend that decision-makers create renewable energy policies that prioritize and center low-income, communities of color.

Funding Information: The research was funded via nonprofit donors as well as crowdfunding.

Conflict of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.

Keywords: climate change, air pollution, PM2.5, renewable energy, environment, cardiovascular mortality, pollution, policy, energy, environmental justice

Suggested Citation

Chowdhury, Samir and Mathur, Vihaan, Quantifying the Air Pollution Mortality Impacts of Renewable Energy Farms Across 150 U.S. Cities (August 10, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4183556 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4183556

Samir Chowdhury

Youth Climate Action Team Inc. ( email )

1854 Valleywood Rd
McLean, VA 22101
United States
7036355789 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.linkedin.com/in/samirch/

Vihaan Mathur (Contact Author)

Youth Climate Action Team Inc. ( email )

United States

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